H.E. MR. KOICHI HARAGUCHI
Permanent Representative of Japan
At the Second Committee
Fifty-seventh Session of the General Assembly
30 September 2002
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
First of all, I would like to congratulate
you, H.E. Mr. Marco Antonio Suazo, Deputy Permanent Representative
of Honduras, on your assumption of the chairmanship of this
Committee. I extend my congratulations as well to all the
other newly elected members of the bureau.
This Second Committee has been involved this
past year with issues of great importance to the international
community. In the Monterrey International Conference on Financial
Development and in the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable
Development (WSSD), we have made epoch making steps in the
field of development. I believe it is now incumbent upon us
to follow up the results of those conferences.
In Johannesburg, Japan’s Prime Minister
Koizumi launched an ambitious new initiative, which outlined
the concrete actions Japan would take for sustainable development,
and pledged assistance totaling more than 250 billion yen
(approximately $2 billion) over the next five years for educational
programs in low income countries. I would like to take this
opportunity to draw your attention to the recommendation articulated
in its Plan of Implementation that the UN General Assembly
consider designating a "decade of education for sustainable
development" starting in 2005.
As Prime Minister Koizumi noted in his statement
at the General Debate earlier this month, Japan believes that
in order to balance environmental protection and development,
"ownership" by developing countries and "partnership"
of the international community with them, which supports their
ownership, are essential. NEPAD, the New Partnership for Africa’s
Development emphasizes this global partnership. The Government
of Japan’s aid plan for Africa, entitled "Solidarity
between Japan and Africa", which it announced prior to
the G8 Summit this year, and the policy speech on African
development which Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi delivered
at the time of her visit to Ethiopia a month ago are based
precisely on this view, and show Japan’s determination
to work hand in hand with African countries. The announcement
at the G8 Kananaskis Summit of the Africa Action Plan was
a memorable event, as it proclaimed this strengthened partnership
as a general principle. In October of next year, the Government
of Japan will conduct the third Tokyo International Conference
on African Development (TICAD III), and it is my sincere hope
the deliberations there will further strengthen international
efforts for African development.
I would like in this context to comment on
NERICA, the acronym for New Rice for Africa, which is a new
hybrid of African and Asian species of rice. What is remarkable
about NERICAs is that while typical existing species of rice
mature in 120-140 days, NERICAs mature only in 90-100days.
Furthermore, NERICAs have over 400 grains per panicle, compared
to about 250 of the existing species. A Guinean farmer reported
that 800 kg was cropped from only 18 kg of seeds in 1999.
And in 2001, 4000kg of rice was reported to have been cropped
from 150kg of seeds, and his children were able to have better
education thanks to this remarkable result. Being resistant
to disease and highly productive, NERICAs can be of great
help to alleviate food shortage, and I believe it should be
made widely available. At present, seventeen countries, especially
in western Africa, are participating in a NERICA consortium.
Japan believes it is important to create success stories with
new ideas such as this, and has been a main donor to this
effort since 1997.
In addressing development issues, we need
to pay special consideration to the particularly vulnerable
situation of least developed countries, landlocked developing
countries, and small island developing countries. The Brussels
Programme of Action was adopted at the Third United Nations
Conference on Least Developed Countries last year in order
to tackle the problems that will be faced by those countries
in the coming decade, and the Barbados Programme of Action
was adopted to address issues faced by small island developing
States. It is essential that those programmes be steadily
implemented. As for landlocked developing countries, while
there have been meetings at the expert level on cooperation
for transit transport, Japan hopes that the next year’s
ministerial meeting of landlocked developing countries will
deepen the understanding of the international community of
the issues facing those countries. I believe we should continue
to extend our positive support to this effort.
In the context of development assistance,
Japan would like to emphasize the importance of South-South
cooperation. In my view, there are many instances where certain
developing countries that are comparatively more developed
can effectively share their experience and know-how with other
developing countries. Since the beginning of the 1990s, Japan
has promoted so-called "triangular cooperation"
that supports such South-South cooperation, and has exchanged
"partnership programs" with Singapore, Thailand,
Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Egypt, Tunisia, and the Philippines
among other countries, under which these countries and Japan
have sent experts to third countries or held joint seminars.
I believe these activities are worthy of our attention.
In fiscal year 2001, Japan contributed $96
million to the UNDP, or roughly 15 percent of its core budget.
In addition, we have also earmarked $4.5 million specifically
for South-South cooperation.
Also in the context of South-South cooperation,
I would like to say a few words about IDEA, the "Initiative
for Development in East Asia". This is a forum for exchanging
views on the role and results of official development assistance,
taking the achievements of several East Asian nations as examples.
It is hoped these discussions will be of some help to economic
and social development of other regions. Japan took this initiative
on the basis of Prime Minister Koizumi’s idea of "acting
together we advance together", which he presented on
his visit to several Southeast Asian nations in January of
this year. In August Japan convened the IDEA Ministerial Meeting
in Tokyo. I believe it will become increasingly important
to apply the lessons learned through the experiences of one
region to the development of other regions.
As the concept of sustainable development
advances, protecting the earth’s environment is becoming
an increasingly important task of all humankind. Of particular
urgency is the problem of global warming. In June of this
year, Japan ratified the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change, but in order for it
to enter into effect, several Annex I countries still need
to ratify it. Japan strongly hopes that this will happen as
soon as possible and that concrete measures will be taken
to reduce and limit greenhouse gas emissions. As stipulated
in the Framework Convention, those countries which are not
obligated under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce or limit emissions
are also encouraged to make efforts in this area.
It is likewise important to achieve more effective
and efficient results under the Convention on Biological Diversity
and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification,
which were produced at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro
in 1992. Environmental protection is essentially a task for
all humankind. All the countries of the world, though they
may each have different responsibilities, must join hands
to make concrete progress toward our common goal. I would
stress the need to devise ways and make efforts to enhance
compliance with various international environmental agreements.
At the opening session, the Chairman spoke
of the need to manage the affairs of the Second Committee
in a more efficient and practical manner. The Japanese delegation
shares this concern. It is my conviction that more effective
management will create greater trust for this committee and
will enhance the legitimacy of the United Nations in the long